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Consume this: SubCulture serves up CGI with a twist

SubCulture is a new, in-your-face, subversive CGI series in development at Mainframe, the Vancouver-based production company that spawned Reboot. The animation studio partnered with Los Angeles-based comic book company TopCow Entertainment, which developed the concept, and Mainframe is running with the...
July 1, 1999

SubCulture is a new, in-your-face, subversive CGI series in development at Mainframe, the Vancouver-based production company that spawned Reboot. The animation studio partnered with Los Angeles-based comic book company TopCow Entertainment, which developed the concept, and Mainframe is running with the TV series development and pitching it to broadcasters.

The older teen-targeted, half-hour show marks a stylistic departure for Mainframe. ‘We have done mainly action-adventure shows in the past that are toy-driven,’ explains Dan DiDio, VP of creative affairs. Describing the new series, DiDio says, ‘It pokes fun at consumerism, fashion and fads, and pop culture, all wrapped up in the world of teenage angst.’ Joshua Fisher, manager of creative development at Mainframe interjects: ‘Or how these things create teen angst.’ Computer animation naturally attracts a more mature crowd, DiDio says, and therefore it’s a natural for Mainframe to also pitch to late-teen viewers to help diversify its product.

Though no story lines are set in stone (writers are still being locked in), SubCulture`s characters certainly have an edge. In a consumer-driven, futuristic world, mutated half-human, half-animal former house pets walk the earth with serious attitude. One of these unfortunates is Harvey, half-rabbit, half-boy. Abandoned by Chloe, the ’17-year-old queen of hip,’ when he was just a bunny, Harvey has some heavy issues. Chloe couldn’t care less, but tolerates Harvey to impress Chase, the 18-year-old, socially-conscious, bisexual cynic. ‘We like the subversive nature of the series,’ DiDio explains.

Mainframe hopes to premiere the series on a new Web site that will launch in September, with a short vignette that will run for two or three minutes. Mainframe projects the series’ ballpark cost per episode at US$350,000. DiDio says there is some international licensing interest and while nothing is off limits, Fisher says the most likely products will be T-shirts, caps and video games.

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